Event Protocols

In order to provide a safe environment for all tournament participants, each event will be capped at a maximum of 126 participants. Epee, foil and saber events will be held in a separate area or room which can only be accessed by those credentialed for the event. After a competitor has been eliminated from competition (or at the conclusion of the awards presentation for top eight finishers), all competitors must leave the venue immediately. Coaches and competitors will only be allowed in the dedicated room of the competition for their event. Tournament staff and officials also will be limited to access only the rooms in which they are working.

All events in June will have a maximum of 126 competitors and be limited to U.S. citizens or permanent residents only. Athletes that have represented another country in the last three years at FIE level competitions (Senior/Junior and those athletes that represented another country in the Cadet World Championships) are not eligible to compete in the June NAC unless the athlete has been officially approved by the FIE to represent the USA.

COVID-19 Testing

All participants in the tournament, including athletes and staff as well as all coaches or other credentialed individuals, must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result in order to enter the facility. The COVID-19 PCR test must be taken no more than 72 hours prior to the start of travel for all credentialed individuals.

Vaccination

Individuals who have completed the COVID vaccine series prior to the competition must still obtain a negative PCR test result in order to participate in a USA Fencing national event. Throughout the course of the season, as guidelines and recommendations for individuals who have been completely vaccinated change and evolve, new updates may be put into place for vaccinated individuals.  

Venue

Individuals will receive a color-coded wristband for the appropriate hall for their competition and should not attempt to go into any of the other halls at any time. An additional credential will be used to grant access into the finals room for those who qualify for video replay rounds.

Hand sanitizer and bleach wipes will be available throughout the venue for use. Competition halls will be closed and cleaned in between each event. A full venue clean will be done overnight each night by the convention center staff.

Tournament participants are encouraged to bring their own water to the venue. Touchless water stations also will be available throughout the venue. 

Weapon Check

All events will have a scheduled equipment check time. A schedule will be posted in the Athlete Packet once these times are finalized. Fencers will not be permitted to check equipment any earlier than the scheduled time. All armorers will be required to wear masks and protective gloves to avoid direct contact with equipment and athletes. Barrier shields will be mounted on the front of the armory tables to separate the armorers and fencers during the inspection process.

Health Checks

Everyone must submit to daily health checks before entering the venue, including:

  • Verification of negative PCR test results (first time to venue only)
  • Completion of daily health questionnaire and pass of onsite temperature check (< 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Individuals will receive a color coded wristband for the appropriate hall for their competition and should not attempt to go into any of the other halls at any time (unless they advance to the video replay rounds in the finals hall where they will receive a credential for access to that room).

Mask Mandate

As announced in October 2020, all participants in USA Fencing events MUST wear a face mask that covers mouth and nose at all times, including competition. This includes athletes, coaches, staff and officials. Although individual states may have varying guidelines regarding masks, each of the convention centers in which national events will be held currently have a mandatory mask policy. Virginia currently has mandatory mask policies. 

Credential Access

The June NAC will NOT be open to outside spectators; however, each competing athlete will receive credential access for one additional individual which may be a coach OR another accompanying individual, such as a family member. Athletes can register this person at the time of registration. This individual also is subject to the COVID-19 test restrictions as listed above. In order to enter the venue, any individuals who are not athletes or tournament staff must have be credentialed with an athlete.

All current Member and Affiliate Clubs that have athletes competing will be permitted to have one (1) current Coach Member register to coach their athletes in each event. Additional staff will need to be credentialed as the plus one with a competing athlete.

Awards

Athletes who finish in the top eight at the June NAC will be able to pick up their medals at the Satellite Bout Committee in the finals room.

Awards ceremonies will resume in July with socially distant COVID-19 protocols.

Screaming

Research has shown that virus transmission occurs at higher rates when individuals scream or yell due to the increased propulsion of droplets through the air. Accordingly, yelling after a touch, or at any time during a bout, will be prohibited. As this is a significant change to a habit for many fencers, referees are advised to verbally warn fencers rather than issuing an immediate penalty. If, after warnings, the referee determines an athlete is deliberately violating the reminder not to scream, the referee can award a Group 1 penalty for refusal to obey the referee resulting in a yellow card for the first infraction and red cards for subsequent infractions. The referee also has the authority to award a Group 3 penalty for disturbing order on the strip which results in a red card for the first infraction and a black card and exclusion from the tournament for subsequent infractions.

Handshakes

Athletes are to salute at the conclusion of a bout in lieu of shaking hands with each other, the referee or coaches.

Social Distancing

Everyone should practice proper social distancing measures at all times while in the venue. Floor decals and signage will be placed around the venue as reminders.

Bout Committee

The Bout Committee area will be set up with barrier shields to separate members of the Bout Committee from tournament participants. No more than one fencer will be permitted at the table at which each Bout Commit­tee official is stationed. All other fencers for that event should wait behind the line until called by the officials member to come forward. Athletes must ensure 6 feet between themselves and any others waiting in line.

Bout Committee officials will not take the bout slips from the fencers. Each slip will have a barcode which will be scanned by the fencer. Slips will be scanned by the fencer, and the BC official will record the score on the com­puter while the slip is shown to them. Once completed, the slip will be dropped in a box by the fencer, on the side of the table closest to them and furthest from the BC official.

Officials

All tournament officials will be placed in single hotel rooms for the 2020-21 season.

In rest and meal areas, tables will be at least 6 feet apart, and the number of chairs stationed at each table will be reduced to allow for social distancing as appropriate. Lunch will be determined by local venue protocols. Meals will be prepackaged or served by venue staff to minimize the need for shared serving utensils. Disposable sets of napkins and silverware will be provided in officials meal rooms. Bottled water will be provided for tournament officials. Community games and other shared items will be removed from officials’ break areas until further notice.

COVID-19 Guidelines and Requirements in Fort Worth

The Fort Worth Convention Center will continue its health and safety standards, including requiring masks of all guests and staff. The facilities will maintain high standards for cleaning, including regular cleaning of public areas and surfaces. Hand sanitizer stations will be available throughout the facilities.